New Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang bus route

A second class air-conditioned bus route opened Thursday from Chiang Mai to Luang Pabang as the 8th route linking Thailand with the Lao PDR. The route opening ceremony took place at the Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal. The 44-seater air-conditioned bus departs once a day from Chiang Mai province and makes a stop in Chiang Rai before crossing the border to Louang Namtha, Oudomxay and Luang Prabang provinces of Laos. The journey takes 18 hours and the fare is 1,200 Baht. Once the fourth bridge across the Mekong River from Thailand, linking Chiang Khong with the Lao PDR’s Huay Xai, is finished next year, first class air-conditioned buses will replace the second services with a fare of 1,500 Baht.

In related news, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Transport Silapachai Jarukasemrattana said the high-speed train project from Bangkok-Chiang Mai should be ready for service in 2017. He said currently a study is beng carried out to see which route is to start first. Apart from the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route, two other preliminary routes are in the project: Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima and Bangkok-Hua Hin. The high-speed rail journeys are expected to link the entire country within 3-4 hours, Mr Silpacha said.

Sources: MCOT and NNT

12 comments for “New Chiang Mai-Luang Prabang bus route

  1. yenni
    April 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Dear Thai Travel,

    I’m looking for bus schedule from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang.
    Would Thai Travel help me to provide the schedule/timetable?
    My trip will be held on 29 May 2012.

    Thank you,

    • Richard Barrow
      April 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Sorry, we don’t have access to that here. They don’t seem to publish online. You would probably need to find that out locally once you are in Chiang Rai.

      • yenni
        April 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm

        Thank you for your response.
        It’s quite difficult to find the detail information on it.

        • Ken
          October 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

          Passengers departing from Luang Prabang can catch buses daily, leaving the main bus station at 5pm and arriving in Chiang Mai at about 3pm. The Thai bus departs from Chiang Mai bus station at 9am and arrives in Luang Prabang at 7pm. The bus fare is 310,000 kip (1,200 Thai baht).

          • sengaloun
            November 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

            Dear sir
            Do you have Bus from chiangmai to Luang parbang Laos!!!How much

            Best regard

  2. Joost
    May 3, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Hello Richard, thank you for this great informative site. Do you have any extra info on this bus? Can’t really find anything online in English. Thank you in advance.

    • Richard Barrow
      May 3, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Sorry, don’t have any more information at this time.

  3. Rieks
    September 28, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Hi, is it possible to book this bus only for the journey Chiang Mai to Louang Namtha ? And how many hours will that be ?

    • Richard Barrow
      September 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      Sorry, I cannot answer that. You will need to ask them locally.

    • Michael Chick
      September 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Luang Namtha is NOT on the way to Luang Prabang from Chiang Mai/ Chiang Rai.
      I’ve done this route before. You do a Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong by bus. Then, you do Chiang Khong-Huay Xai by boat across the Mae Khong. Then, early the next morning, take a direct bus to Luang Namtha. From Luang Namtha, you can hop on a Sawng Thiau to head north to get to Muang Sing, which has an official border to get into China.

      Just note that I had plenty of time, so I took days to do this route.
      Hope this helps

  4. October 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Hello Richard.

    Do you know if the bus goes also from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai? Like returning back to Tailand?

    Thank you very much!


    • Richard Barrow
      October 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      I would presume so but I don’t have any information on that.

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